Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) is preparing for the third nor’easter to hit the region in the past two weeks that could produce more than a foot of heavy, wet snow and the potential for wind gusts up to 45 mph in its northern and central New Jersey service areas beginning early Wednesday.
JCP&L personnel have implemented storm and staffing plans and are prepared to respond appropriately should severe weather cause power outages. As part of this effort, JCP&L’s Incident Command System has been implemented and the Command Center in Holmdel is operational.
Electrical contractors are available in New Jersey to assist with restoration efforts, as needed, and FirstEnergy utility crews from Ohio are traveling to New Jersey today to provide additional support. To handle the influx of outside crews, staging sites are being prepared in Ocean and Essex counties.
Other steps JCP&L is taking to prepare for possible weather impacts include:
- Staffing additional dispatchers and analysts at regional dispatch offices
- Airing radio ads telling customers how to prepare for storms
- Checking equipment and vehicles to make sure they are ready to operate in heavy snow conditions
- Communicating with emergency management officials, state officials, regulators and local officials about storm preparation efforts
- Ramping up storm updates on social media and on the company website. Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JCPandL or online at www.jcp-l.com
- Communicating with customers regarding storm preparation tips and safety reminders
- Continuing efforts to secure mutual assistance crews to help with restoration efforts.
Customers who are without power are encouraged to call 1-888-LIGHTSS
(1-888-544-4877) to report their outage or click the “Report Outage” link on www.firstenergycorp.com. In the event of severe weather, customers should immediately report downed wires to their utility or their local police or fire department. Customers should never go near a downed power line, even if they think it is no longer carrying electricity. Extra caution should be used in areas where downed lines are tangled in trees or other debris. Motorists are cautioned to treat intersections with inoperable traffic signals as four-way stops.
Customers are encouraged to prepare for the possibility of outages caused by significant snowfall and high winds:
- Keep electronic devices such as cell phones, laptops and tablet computers fully charged to be ready for any emergencies.
- Keep a flashlight, portable radio and extra batteries handy in the event a power interruption occurs. Tune to a local station for current storm information.
- Never use a portable generator inside the house or a closed garage in the event of a power outage. Ensure the proper generator is selected and installed by a qualified electrician. When operating a generator, the power coming into the home should always be disconnected. Otherwise, power from the generator could be sent back onto the utility lines, creating a hazardous situation for utility workers.
- Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in your home.
- If you have a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.
- Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.
- Mobile phones can be charged in your vehicle using a car charger when the power is out. If you have a smart phone, this will ensure you have access to online information sources.
FirstEnergy customers also can subscribe to email and text message alert notifications to receive billing reminders, weather alerts in advance of major storms, and updates on scheduled or extended power outages. Customers can also use two-way text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts.
More information about these communications tools is available online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.